Pottery clue to site of Bruce’s army camp at Bannockburn

Picture Robert Perry
Picture Robert Perry
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ARCHAEOLOGISTS have unearthed fragments of medieval pottery they hope could help pinpoint where Robert the Bruce’s Scottish army camped before the Battle of Bannockburn.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) organised a Big Dig earlier this month on an previously unexplored field near the Bannockburn visitor centre.

It is certainly within the boundary of the New Park, where we know Bruce camped before the battle. We would like to think this is some of the evidence that will give us a bigger picture that this was the camp.

Scott Mcmaster

The site was used last year during the 700th anniversary Bannockburn Live event, for spectacular re-enactments of the 1314 battle.

Ironically, the event on the site also included a recreation of Bruce’s camp complete with kitchen, living quarters and blacksmiths forging armour.

More than 125 members of the public joined a team of NTS experts and volunteers during the dig, which unearthed fragments of green glaze pottery which suggest the possible site of Bruce’s encampment.

Scott McMaster, manager of the Bannockburn centre, said yesterday: “The dig was carried out in the field where we held Bannockburn Live. When the re-enactors were knocking lumps out of each other, underneath their feet was medieval pottery. We can’t declare this was Bruce’s camp but the fragments are green glaze of the period, and it is promising.

“It is certainly within the boundary of the New Park, where we know Bruce camped before the battle.

“We would like to think this is some of the evidence that will give us a bigger picture that this was the camp.”

The dig uncovered a greater number of fragments than previous digs held in areas surrounding the visitor centre.

Teams will return later this year for further digs in the hope of finding more pottery, midden materials and charcoal evidence of camp fires or forges where weapons were prepared.

McMaster added: “What we really need is evidence of armour or weaponry – an arrowhead, a piece of chain mail or a stud from a boot or shield.”

SEE ALSO: Alex Salmond: Bannockburn is birthplace of Scotland